A nesting platform was erected along Crooks Point Trail in Great Kills Gateway National Park in 1994, but the osprey, while visiting the park, didn't favor the nesting site. So Con Ed, responding to park rangers requests, built a nesting platform nearby atop a 45-foot utility pole and placed nesting materials on it in 2002, according to a 7 March 2002 article in The New York Daily News titled "High Hopes for New Osprey Nest." The Gateway National Recreational Area's Facebook page pointed out in 2011 that Great Kills had the only active osprey nesting sites on Staten Island. SILive repeated this assertion in 2014.
What to look for
Look for 2 adults on the nest. The adult pair will show pair bonding behaviors such as vocalizations, aerial sky dances, and the male feeding the female fish. You may see the pair copulating, which typically begins 14 days before laying eggs.
Females will lay 1 - 4 eggs at a rate of one egg every 1 - 2 days. After laying, incubation starts. Look for adults taking turns sitting low in the nest incubating eggs. The incubation period can last 35 - 43 days.
Chicks hatch ~39 days after incubation begins. Look for adults bringing food to the nest and making "head bows" into the center. Chicks typically can't be seen until they are 2 - 3 weeks old, so feeding behavior is the only way to know chicks are there.
Around 4 weeks after hatching, look for the heads of chicks to show over the rim of the nest, particularly when adults bring food to the nest. Other times they lie flat and are harder to see. Count the number of chicks in the nest before they learn to fly
Chicks begin flying around 7 - 8 weeks old, and are still fed by the adults. Count the number of chicks who have successfully fledged the nest and are observed flying.
Chick Last Observed
4 - 10 weeks after fledging, chicks begin leaving the nest area to migrate south, once they have learned to fly and feed themselves. Record the date that the last chick left the nest.
Look for signs of nest failure like adult abandonment, adults no longer incubating eggs or feeding young.
A friend told me she saw three osprey and an eagle in this vicinity on Sunday. Presumably they were transiting south. The temps here have been in the 50s and low 60s but are expected to reach the low 70s midweek.